For Immediate Release April 30, 2012
Staff Contact: Bill Powell, PWNR,
View the most recent Press Releases.
Longmont Water Outlook Update
(UPDATE) JUNE 19, 2012 -
The City of Longmont water supply status remains at the Sustainable Conservation Level. The current water supply is at 149% of the 2012 projected water demand. This is a drop of 1% from May 2012.
At this time the snowpack is nearly melted and stream flow is well below normal at 150 cfs. To put this in perspective, at this time in 2011 the Saint Vrain Creek was near peak capacity with stream flows of 700 cfs., with average stream flows on this date of 500 cfs. However, despite low stream flow Longmont’s water storage remains in good condition. Ralph Price Reservoir, located at Button Rock Preserve, reached 90% of capacity in mid-June. Ralph Price Reservoir at 90% of capacity by July 15th is the trigger point for the Sustainable Water Conservation Level, so Longmont met this goal one month early this year.
The total treated water use for 2012 Year to Date is 97% of the water used in 2002 Year To Date. This illustrates the City is using less water at this time than the amount of water used at this time during the drought of 2002.
The Longmont Water Board continues to monitor the water situation on a monthly basis. If you would like additional information regarding the water situation please follow the link provided below to the most recent Water Board Packet.
The Sustainable Water Conservation Level has some recommended steps to follow in order to assist with water conservation for indoor water use as well as outdoor water use.
Continue public information concerning impacts to the City of Longmont’s water
supply to encourage that best management practices (BMP’s) are followed. The
City will continually promote a public water conservation campaign. BMP’s
include but are not limited to:
1. No water being wasted.
2. Time of day watering restrictions, such as no unattended irrigation between
the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., will be encouraged.
3. Use soil amendments and mulch in conjunction with appropriate plant
4. Check and replace leaky faucets and toilets.
5. Wash only full loads of cloths and dishes.
Voluntary measures for raw water reduction in municipal and school use of water.
1. Parks & Recreation will conserve water where possible and utilize BMP’s.
2. Golf courses will conserve water where possible and also utilize BMP’s.
3. School District will be encouraged to follow BMP’s and conserve water
4. City owned facilities will strive to set the benchmark for water use practice.
5. Encourage all customers served by the Longmont Public Works &Natural Resources Department to implement BMP’s for total water use.
The temperatures continue to be extremely hot and that is expected to continue at least for the short term. Please do your part and conserve water when possible.
APRIL 30, 2012 - The water supply for the City of Longmont continues to remain in a favorable condition. While there have been several small snow events and cooler weather in the mountains which helped to slow the snow melt for part of this last week, overall for the month of April we have had above average snowmelt.
Longmont receives approximately 66% of the annual water from the Saint Vrain Creek watershed and the remainder of the water comes from the Upper Colorado River Basin on the western slope. The Saint Vrain Creek snowpack is currently at 50% of normal compared to 80% one month ago. The Upper Colorado River Basin is currently at 30% of normal compared to 57% just one month ago.
The low snowpacks will result in the drawing down of storage reserves this summer, so all residents are reminded to conserve water. Because of the more rapid snow melt this spring, April stream flow in the Saint Vrain Creek has been nearly 2 1/2 times as high as it was in the drought year of 2002. This has assisted the City's direct flow water rights which allows the City to keep water in the storage facilities and primarily use water currently in the rivers and creeks.
While the water supply for Longmont is forecasted to be at 140% of demand, the City is encouraging residents to comply with the Sustainable Conservation Level for the current situation.
At the sustainable conservation level the City will continue to implement Best Management Practices to conserve the water resources of the City.
Target Water Savings Goal: Sustainable demand management at all times to insure reasonable water conservation practices are followed utilizing best management practices.
1. No water being wasted.
2. Time of day watering restrictions, such as no unattended irrigation between the hours of 10 am and 6 pm, will be encouraged.
3. Use soil amendments and mulch in conjunction with appropriate plant selections.
4. Check and replace leaky faucets and toilets.
5. Wash only full loads of clothes and dishes.
Other cities and water providers along the front range have also taken steps conserve water and inform their citizens about the low snowpack.
As stated above, the water supply for 2012 is forecasted to be at 140% of demand, however, it is not possible to accurately predict future water years. Due to the unknown length of the current drought, citizens are encouraged to conserve water.
City staff will present the annual Water Supply and Drought Management Plan for 2012 at the May 8 City Council Meeting. The status of the 2012 water outlook will also be discussed at that time.
For more information please call The Public Works & Natural Resources Call Center at 303-651-8468.
MARCH 30, 2012 - With the lack of precipitation and early arrival of warmer weather, the City of Longmont Public Works and Natural Resources Department is closely monitoring the City’s water supply. While the mountain snowpack is currently below average, the outlook for the City’s water supply in 2012 and beyond is very positive. Longmont’s excellent water supply is a result of the seniority of many of our water rights, the water conservation practices of our citizens and the high level of water carried over in storage from last year. Currently the City is projected to have a water supply for 2012 that is 140% of the projected water demand for this year. In addition, the 2013 and 2014 water year projections indicate that even under very low precipitation scenarios, the City will be able to maintain a water supply that is 140% to 150% of demand for the next two years.
Longmont’s water comes from two primary sources, Saint Vrain Creek and transbasin diversions from the upper Colorado River Basin. The local Saint Vrain Creek Basin provides Longmont with about 2/3 of our water. Snowpack in the St Vrain Creek watershed is currently one of the highest in the state at approximately 80% of average as of March 28. The upper Colorado River basin, which supplies approximately 1/3 of our water, is drier, with snowpack at approximately 57% of average on March 29.
The other component of Longmont’s water supply is storage water, which is in the best condition it has been in for many years. Because of last year’s good snowpack and slow runoff, Longmont and other water users did not need to use much storage water. As a result, the storage supplies are higher than average, which provides additional security for Longmont’s water supply in 2012.
Even though Longmont is in an excellent position with regard to water supply, this does not mean that all of us should not continue to conserve water and make wise choices about water use. For example, since approximately one-half of total water consumption is for outdoor irrigation, this provides the greatest potential for conserving water. One of the best ways to reduce outdoor irrigation use is to avoid watering between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.
While it is a little early to begin watering turf areas, trees need some water to help them cope with the warm and dry conditions. The City’s Natural Resources Division recommends deep root watering of trees and shrubs to conserve water. Water needs time to soak into the ground so be sure to water your trees slowly. This can be done with a drip irrigation system, a trickling garden hose or a 5-gallon bucket with small holes in the bottom. If you water with a trickling hose, don’t forget to turn it off. Over watering could potentially harm the tree, as well as waste valuable water. New trees require a little extra water to maintain health & vigor.
Water conservation is always a good idea in our dry climate and the City encourages and promotes conservation practices. The City has many conservation programs to assist residents. These programs include Garden-in-a-Box, outdoor irrigation audits, xeriscape seminars and indoor water audits. For more information about water conservation and the City’s water conservation programs, please go to City’s water conservation web page: http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/pwwu/water/conservation/index.htm
The City uses raw (untreated) water on most of its golf courses and parks to best utilize the water supplies available at any time. The golf course greens have been watered all winter based on precipitation, which is a normal winter protocol. City park crews are working on the irrigation systems at the City’s parks and will begin watering over the next few weeks.
The City of Longmont staff, Water Board and City Council will continue to closely monitor the City’s water supply. Longmont’s Water Board will review and act on the 2012 Water Supply and Drought Management Plan at its April 16th meeting and City Council will review and act on the Plan in early May. Citizen input into these plans is always welcome
For more information about Longmont’s water supply, drought management plan and water conservation please call 303-651-8468, or visit the city’s web site at the address listed below. The website has information on voluntary lawn watering schedules, conservation tips and current water supply conditions. http://www.ci.longmont.co.us/pwwu/water/resources/index.htm